Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

SCENE IV.

The same.

Another Part of the same.

Enter SALISBURY, PEMBROKE, Bigot, and Others.

Sal. I did not think the king so stor’d with friends.

Pem. Up once again; put spirit in the French; If they miscarry, we miscarry too. Sal. That misbegotten devil

, Faulconbridge, In spite of spite, alone upholds the day. Pem. They say, king John, sore sick, hath left

the field.

Enter MELUN wounded, and led by Soldiers. Mel. Lead me to the revolts of England here. Sal. When we were happy we had other names. Pem. It is the count Melun. Sal.

Wounded to death. Mel. Fly, noble English, you are bought and

sold;
Unthread the rude eye of rebellion,
And welcome home again discarded faith.
Seek out king John, and fall before his feet;
For, if the French be lords of this loud day,
He means to recompense the pains you take,
By cutting off your heads: Thus hath he sworn,
And I with him, and many more with me,
Upon the altar at Saint Edmund's-Bury;
Even on that altar, where we swore to you
Dear amity and everlasting love.

Sal. May this be possible? may this be true?
Mel. Have I not hideous death within iny view,

• He means ---] The Frenchman, i, e. Lewis, means,

&c.

[graphic]

Retaining but a quantity of life;
Which bleeds away, even as a form of wax
Resolveth from his figure 'gainst the fire ?"
What in the world should make me now deceive,
Since I must lose the use of all deceit?
Why should I then be false; since it is true
That I must die here, and live hence by truth?
I say again, if Lewis do win the day,
He is forsworn, if e'er those eyes of yours
Behold another day break in the east:
But even this night,—whose black contagious

breath
Already smokes about the burning crest
Of the old, feeble, and day-wearied sun,
Even this ill night, your breathing shall expire;
Paying the fine of rated treachery,
Even with a treacherous fine of all your lives, ,
If Lewis by your assistance win the day.
Commend me to one Hubert, with your king;
The love of him,--and this respect besides,
For that my grandsire was an Englishman,
Awakes my conscience to confess all this.
In lieu whereof, I pray you, bear me hence
From forth the noise and rumour of the field:
Where I may think the remnant of my thoughts
In peace, and part this body and my

soul With contemplation and devout desires.

Sal. We do believe thee,-And beshrew my soul But I do love the favour and the form

[ocr errors]

eron as a form of wax Resolveth, &c.] This is said in allusion to the images made by witches.

Holinshed observes, that it was alledged against dame Eleanor Cobham and her confederates, “ that they had devised an image of wax, representing the king, which, by their sorcerie, by little and little consumed, intending thereby, in conclusion, to waste and destroy the king's person.

Trated treachery,] i. e. The Dauphin has rated your treachery, and set upon it a fine, which your lives must pay.

Of this most fair occasion, by the which
We will untread the steps of damned flight;
And, like a bated and retired flood,
Leaving our rankness and irregular course,
Stoop low within those bounds we have o'erlook'd,
And calmly run on in obedience,
Even to our ocean, to our great king John.--
My arm shall give thee help to bear thee hence;
For I do see the cruel pangs of death
Right in thine eye.--Away, my friends! New

flight;
And happy newness, that intends old right.

[Exeunt, leading off Melun.

[blocks in formation]

Enter Lewis and his Train. Lew. The sun of heaven, methought, was loath

to set; But stay'd, and made the western welkin blush, When the English measur’d backward their own

ground,
In faint retire: 0, bravely came we off,
When with a volley of our needless shot,
After such bloody toil, we bid good night;
And wound our tatter'd colours clearly up,
Last in the field, and almost lords of it!

Enter a Messenger.
Mess. Where is my prince, the Dauphin?
Lew.

Here:- What news?

2

happy newness, &c.] Happy innovation, that purposed the restoration of the ancient rightful government.

[graphic]

Mess. The count Melun is slain; the English

lords,
By his persuasion, are again fallen off:
And your supply, which you have wish'd so long,
Are cast away, and sunk, on Goodwin sands.
Lew. Ah, foul shrewd news!-Beshrew thy very

heart!
I did not think to be so sad to-night,
As this hath made me.-Who was he, that said,
King John did fly, an hour or two before
The stumbling night did part our weary powers ?

Mess. Whoever spoke it, it is true, my lord.
Lew. Well; keep good quarter, and good care

to-night; The day shall not be up so soon as I, To try the fair adventure of to-morrow. [Exeunt.

SCENE VI.

An open Place in the Neighbourhood of Swinstead

Abbey.

Enter the Bastard and HUBERT, meeting. Hub. Who's there? speak, ho! speak quickly,

or I shoot. Bast. A friend:- What art thou? Hub.

Of the part of England. Bast. Whither dost thou go? Hub. What's that to thee? Why may not I de

mand
Of thine affairs, as well as thou of mine?

Bast. Hubert, I think.
Hub.

Thou hast a perfect thought: I will, upon all hazards, well believe

keep good quarter,] i. e. keep in your allotted posts,

Thou art my friend, that know'st my tongue so well:
Who art thou?
Bast.

Who thou wilt: an if thou please,
Thou may’st befriend me so much, as to think
I come one way of the Plantagenets,
Hub. Unkind remembrance! thou, and eyeless

night, Have done me shame:—Brave soldier, pardon me, That any accent, breaking from thy tongue, Should 'scape the true acquaintance of mine ear. . Bast. Come, come; sans compliment, what news

abroad? Hub. Why, here walk 1, in the black brow of

night, To find you out. Bast.

Brief, then; and what's the news? Hub. O, my sweet sir, news fitting to the night, Black, fearful, comfortless, and horrible.

Bast. Show me the very wound of this ill news; I am no woman, I'll not swoon at it.

Hub. The king, I fear, is poison'd by a monk:* I left him almost speechless, and broke out To acquaint you with this evil; that you might The better arm you to the sudden time, Than if you had at leisure known of this.

Bast. How did he take it? who did taste to him? Hub. A monk, I tell you; a resolved villain, Whose bowels suddenly burst out: the king Yet speaks, and, peradventure, may recover.

4 The king, I fear, is poison'd by a monk :] Not one of the historians who wrote within sixty years after the death of King John, mentions this very improbable story. The tale is, that a monk, to revenge himself on the king for a saying at which he took offence, poisoned a cup of ale, and having brought it to his majesty, drank some of it himself, to induce the king to taste it, and soon afterwards expired. Thomas Wykes is the first, who relates it in his Chronicle, as a report. According to the best accounts, John died at Newark, of a fever. VOL. IV.

U

« ZurückWeiter »